09 June 2012


'Twas in the year of 1888, and on July the 14th day,
That an alarming accident occurred in the River Tay.
Which resulted in the sinking of the Tay Ferries' Steamer "Dundee,"
Which was a most painful and sickening sight to see.

The Steamer was engaged by the Independent Order of Rechabites,
And all were resolved to see some rural sights;
And the place they selected was the village of Newburgh;
While each heart was happy and free from sorrow.

And the weather was sunny, and really very fine,
And 900 souls had agreed to while away the time;
And they left the Craig Pier at half-past two o'clock,
Never thinking they would meet with an accidental shock.

And after passing underneath the Bridge of Tay,
Then they took the Channel on the south side without dismay;
And Captain Methven stood on the Steamer's bridge, I do declare,
And for the passengers he seemed to have very great care.

And all went well on board for some time,
And the silvery Tay shone beautiful in the sunshine;
And the passengers' hearts felt light and gay,
While they gazed on the bonnie banks of the silvery Tay.

To do justice to the passengers, they were a goodly band,
For their behaviour, 'tis said, was truly grand;
But to the eastward of Newburgh, the Steamer was too close inshore,
And on passing a boatman, he warningly to them did roar,-

Warning them not to come inshore so near,
But his warning voice the helmsman didn't hear;
Neither the Captain or passengers his warning dreads,
Until the Steamer struck a number of boulders, known as The Heads.

And close to the point where the Pow falls into the Tay,
Which the people that escaped drowning will remember for many a day,
Because many of the passengers were thrown off their balance;
But, most fortunately, they were all saved merely by chance.

And owing to the suddenness of the shock, many women fainted away,
Which filled the rest of the passengers' hearts with dismay;
But they soon regained their composure when close to the land,
Especially when they saw that succour was near at hand.

The engines were kept going at full speed,
And God helped His people in time of need;
And in a short time Newburgh was reached,
While many women wept bitterly, and loudly screeched.

Because by this time the forehold was nearly filled with water,
Which caused the passengers' teeth with fear to chatter;
Because the Steamer was settling down forward,
While to land the passengers safe Captain Methven struggled hard.

But before one-half of them had got ashore,
The women and children were in a state of uproar,
Because the forepart of the Steamer was submerged in the Tay,
Which filled the passengers' hearts with dismay.

But, thanks be to God! all the passengers were sent to Dundee
By the Steamers Renown, Forfarshire, Protector, and the Lass o' Gowrie,
Which certainly was a most beautiful sight to see,
When they landed 900 passengers safe on the pier at Dundee.

Then, good people, away to the mountains, glens, and lakes,
And drink of milk and pure water, and eat oaten cakes;
And sit down on the margin of a little burn in the sunshine,
And enjoy yourselves heartily during the holiday time.

As ever McGonagall Online is your only man when it comes to poetry!


Anonymous said...

We often buy fish and chips in Newburgh and go down to eat them sitting by the water. This bit of history (appallingly related as usual) is new to me.

I'll next have my fish and chips,
and think of sinking ships..

jams o donnell said...

Those poor souls commend to God
while munching down upon your cod.

Anonymous said...

More likely I will have a haddock,
Sad the ship didn't make its dock.

Anonymous said...

My girl will have a sausage supper
Glad of survivors on deck upper
Wife will stick to just chips only
Thinking thoughts sad and lonely
Son, being made of sterner stuff
Will say that's good but not enough

Don QuiScottie said...

Stop this sadness
let's be cheery
they suffer no more
so just drink beery

Andrewstotle said...

The ship lies still
beneath the sea
but all the people
have ceased to be
now they've gone
it's neither good nor bad
it was a moment
but it's been had

jams o donnell said...

Eat your chips all conscience free
the tragic deaths are history!

Andrew said...

Though reading carefully
they all survived, apparently

Andrew said...

Interesting. I only entered one of the two anti-robot words, realised my error just as I clicked, yet the comment (above) was accepted. Hah. I beat the system! And I may well be a robot, by the way. I really don't know.

jams o donnell said...

Hah you anarchist!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

"But, thanks be to God! all the passengers were sent to Dundee"

I don't know. Been in Dundee, have nothing against it, but thanking God for being delivered there is a bit of an exaggeration, methinks ;-)

jams o donnell said...

I suppose Dundee was far better than the Tay!

Anonymous said...

I can think of many, many worse places for God to deliver me unto than Dundee. I've never been to Romford, but I think it may be one of them... Dundee is a compact little city nestling in beautiful countryside, has the Tay estuary, the golf courses of Carnoustie and St Andrews very close... and... come to think of it it may almost be Heaven on Earth...

jams o donnell said...

Romford is pretty dull but is well connected for London and better tan expected countryside in Essex